When I had envisioned what would be our first Advent and Christmas together, I must say, this is not quite what I had in mind. I love learning the traditions of a congregation around these important holidays. Being brought in to the busyness and fellowship of planning and decorating and singing and celebration feels much like a rite of passage, as if being adopted into the family. I know your expectations for gather- ing with friends and loved ones these days have largely been set aside, too, and I grieve for all of us the blessings we are missing this year.

We have been in this quarantine now for nine full months. It feels rather like an eternity, this much waiting.

I suppose any mother or expectant parent could tell us this. And I wonder how much longer those months felt for the young mother of Jesus, without ultrasounds and pregnancy apps and monthly check-ups to mark her progress. What was it she anticipated as she nurtured and grew the divine incarnate in her very body? What hopes, what fears, what expected transformation also grew within her over all that time?

I suspect that in our waiting, God has also been at work in us. Maybe to reveal what of our former life we want to leave behind; maybe to reprioritize what feels important; maybe to grow our investment in the relationships most important to us; maybe simply to deepen our trust in God’s presence. I hope that we, too, expect to emerge from these months transformed by God’s work in us, into a new season of Light and peace.

See you Sunday,
Pastor Darin